New York Times’ Footsteps: Literary Pilgrimages around the World contains a 2014 essay by Dan Saltzstein, titled “San Francisco Noir”. “My guide through this urban landscape, in spirit and inspiration, was Hammett. Though he lived in San Francisco for less than a decade, his association with both the city and noir is inarguable; his early stories and novels are the urtexts of noir, and Spade its anti-heroic face.”
And inspired by the version of Paris that I discovered in Christina Stead’s The Beauties and Furies (1936), I watched a long interview with the author via Kanopy, produced and directed by Hadyn Kenan (2014), the only film interview with Stead apparently.
This passage from the novel encapsulates one of the striking elements of the film: “We see so little in life, I don’t like a sweeping opinion. We go through life erratically like a drunk motor-car turning its headlights this way and that, getting snatches of foliage. The true portrait of a person should be built up as a painter builds it, with hints from everyone, brush-strokes, thousands of little touches.”